woolymonkey: (singe a la licorne)
Remember when Spider won the Medical Research Art competition? If not, click the link to see the artwork and artist as they both looked in 2011, and an explanation of what it shows.

Today, we are taking the artwork back to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, who have finished moving into their snazzy new, chromosome-shaped building and now have a place to display it.  So I took some last photos of it here with him, both looking older, but only the art looks more battered.  That will improve when the LMB replace the original cardboard box with a see-through black perspex one, though I can only wish them luck trying to hold the polystyrene balls, fishing line, cocktail sticks, wire, Early Learning Centre poster paint, etc. together.  'Mixed media' with a vengeance.  I particularly like the balls that he sprayed with solvent because the instructions said not to so they'd get all eaten away and icky.


The artist with his work.  NB print by grannymonkey in the background - multigenerational art!  Note also T-shirt evolution from Metallica to Spinal Tap, though the 2011 Metallica T-shirt is still worn, and probably would have been again if he'd known there'd be photos.


woolymonkey: (guitar chimp)
I am dead impressed by spidermonkey's gcse show.


Behind the cut because big pictures are big )
We don't get them back until October because he's been selected for the moderation sample so Edexcel are busy losing thoroughly critiquing and evaluating them as I type.  We have a few spots in mind for various things (though creepy graveyard monster will be banished to spider's room or the games room).  Wondering about the swirly galaxy and skulls one in the kitchen, but would skulls over the dining table put people off their food?
woolymonkey: (spidermonkey)
It's been a good week for Spider. The highlight was when a lady from the Medical Research Council rang yesterday, asking to speak to him. I did wonder briefly if it was for experimental purposes, but it turned out to be about their Imagining the Brain art competition. He's won joint first prize!
And they want to talk to him about doing a 3 week stint as artist in residence! If he does, it sounds as though it wouldn't be until summer 2012--much better all round because he'll have more time after GCSEs, and he'll be 16.
The website I linked to doesn't have this year's results yet, but you can see entries from previous years there, and the brief for 2011.

The combination of art and science really suited him, and he put a lot of time and effort into his entry.  Here's a pic that doesn't do it justice.

It's a sculpture of a microtubule in a neuron disintegrating due to Alzheimer's. I'm not sure if you can see, but there are little photos of memories on the bits of microtubule, and the base of the box has a blobby (impasto, I'm told) image of an Alzheimer's plaque.  (The pan scourers are tau proteins, I think, or are they something else?)

I love it! Our kitchen was full of heavy body gel, boxes, polystyrene balls, wire, and Early Learning Centre poster paint for weeks, but it was well worth it.
I'm sorry the photo isn't better, but it was the best we could manage. There should be a much better one on the competition website, along with an embarrassed-looking spider, after the photo shoot in September. I'll link when it's there.

As if that wasn't enough, earlier in the week, he got his new violin--long promised if he passed his Grade 5 and still wanted to to carry on, but it wasn't easy to choose it, so took a while.  For the interested, he decided on a new Sandner and a carbon-fibre bow, both from Cambridge Strings, who are fantastic.

AND he got an A for his latest English assessment, on Shakespeare sonnets! Thank you again, everyone who sent thoughts about whether 'loved' rhymes with 'proved'. It doesn't directly boost his English Language grade, which is the one we're worried about, but it's great to see what he can do now he has help for his dyslexia and an English teacher who actually teaches English!

Speaking of English teachers, the cherry on top was a last week of term where normal lessons were replaced by a choice of sports--if you're spider, that's climbing and paintballing. Spider got to be captain of one of the paintball teams, while the opposing team was captained by...

...his old English teacher! (The one who confused him, made him feel useless, and then lost everyone's coursework. Seriously, I know teachers; I used to be one. I don't expect the impossible, but this woman is outstandingly, dramatically hopeless, and maddening with it.*)

Guess who won :)
By a mile :) :) :)

In fact, Ms Crappyteacher is as bad at paint ball as she is at English, and too stupid to recognise this and delegate to kids. So spider got to shoot her dead several times over. He wasn't the only one (see 'lost coursework') above: Ms C was the clear winner of the paint magnet award. Spider obviously found it all very cathartic. He was grinning all over his face, and that was before the A, the violin or the art prize!

* E.g. "It isn't lost because I know it's in the folder.  I just don't know where the folder is."

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